Category Archives: Other

Father of GPS meets Europe’s Galileo team

Brad ParkinsonBrad Parkinson, hailed as the father of GPS, has visited ESA’s technical heart to meet the team behind Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system.

Brad Parkinson was awarded the 2016 Marconi Prize for his part in developing satellite navigation. In 1972, then a US Air Force Colonel, he was put in charge of “Program 621B”, which became the Global Positioning System. Over one long September weekend in 1973 he and his team decided all key GPS elements. The first satellite was launched in February 1978.

Paul Verhoef, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities, invited Prof. Parkinson to ESA’s facility in the Netherlands to address the Directorate’s annual gathering on 11 January. Also present were members of the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency – set to oversee newly operational Galileo services – and the European Commission. Read more…

[vid] The history of Galileo

The Galileo name first appeared in the Communication of the Commission from February 1999. Since then, the programme has been on its way towards full operational capacity. Eighteen satellites are already in orbit and a further 12 will be launched by 2020. The Financing Decisions for the programme were taken by the European Council in the early 2000s.

The definition phase, development, and In-Orbit Validation phase of the Galileo Programme were carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA) and co-funded by the ESA and the EU.

The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo Programme is fully funded by the EU and managed by the European Commission. The Commission and the ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as the design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

 

Galileo Service Operator Contract (GSOp) signed

Galileo Control Centre - Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Galileo Control Centre – Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Following a lengthy and complex tendering process that started in January 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) awarded the Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract, with a value of up to EUR 1.5 billion, to Spaceopal at a special event in Brussels. Spaceopal is a joint venture between the German Aerospace Agency (DLR) and Italy’s Telespazio.

“With its emphasis on service performance, this contract will shape the future of Galileo,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “We look forward to building a strong partnership with Spaceopal as Galileo moves towards full operational capability under the responsibility of the GSA from January 2017.” Read more…

Call for media: Launch of Galileo satellites 15-18

Two flagship European space programmes will combine on 17 November, as Galileo navigation satellites are carried into orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket for the first time.

Using this customised vehicle allows four Galileos to be launched together. The total number of satellites in orbit will rise from 14 to 18 – the single biggest increase of any navigation satellite constellation from a single launch.

Liftoff of Ariane flight VA233 is scheduled for 13:06 GMT (14:06 CET, 10:06 local time) on 17 November. Read more…

Sweden gets set for Galileo

sweden-gets-set-for-galileoIn an effort to promote the benefits of Galileo and the imminent declaration of Initial Services to the broader GNSS user community in Sweden, the Swedish Board of Radio Navigation (RNN) recently held a seminar in Stockholm with the participation of the European GNSS Agency (GSA). Entitled How can Galileo contribute to more cost-effective production applications in the PNT field?, the seminar provided an overview of how Sweden is preparing to implement Galileo signals into professional Positioning, Navigation and Time (PNT) applications.

The event brought together over 60 chipset and receiver manufacturers, government authorities and end users who discussed such topics as: the efforts and requirements for implementing Galileo into GNSS-equipment and Network Real Time Kinetic (RTK) platforms, testing and needs, status of Sweden’s national GNSS infrastructure, and an overview of how Galileo is set to enhance PNT services in Sweden. Read more…

2016 GNSS User Technology Report

2016-gnss-user-technology-reportThe 2016 GNSS User Technology Report is the go-to source for comprehensive knowledge and information on the dynamic, global GNSS user technology industry and the latest trends. The publication takes an in-depth look at the latest in state-of-the-art GNSS receiver technology, along with providing expert analysis on the evolutionary trends that are set to redefine the global GNSS landscape.

The report focuses on three key macrosegments:

  • mass market solutions
  • transport safety and liability-critical solutions
  • high precision, timing and asset management solutions

DOWNLOAD the 2016 GNSS user technology report.

The 2016 GSA GNSS User Technology Report begins with a comprehensive overview of GNSS user technology. This is followed by a macrosegment analysis that focuses on receiver design, innovative signal processing techniques, changes that have an impact on antennas, and GNSS vulnerabilities – and how to mitigate them. Read more…

[vid] European Space Strategy

Space matters to all of us in Europe. Daily life depends on the technologies, services and data that space helps to deliver. Europe’s space industry is strong and competitive, and it creates jobs. Copernicus is already one of the world’s leading providers of Earth observation data. Galileo, our own global satellite navigation system, will soon provide more accurate and reliable positioning and timing information. And we want to help all the new start-ups who see space as their next frontier by making it easier for them to access and use space data. Today, we want to ensure that European citizens get the best value for every euro we spend.

 

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: “The European Union is a key player in space policy. We want to build on that and use this leadership role strategically to create jobs and growth and deliver on our common policy priorities: security, climate change, transport, data economy, management of natural disasters. Read more…

European satellite systems in service of European security

The European Parliament adopted a report on Space capabilities for European security and defence drafted by MEP Bogdan Zdrojewski. The document underlines the possibilities that have been gained by the Member States thanks to the EU programs, Copernicus and Galileo, in the areas of adequate positioning, border monitoring, air and maritime travel control, as well as the analysis of climate change.

“Positioning services and Earth observation capabilities, offered by the EU programs, Galileo and Copernicus respectively, should be used in order to assure the security of EU citizens” Read more…

EU Space Policy: Industry, Security And Defence

Written by Vincent Reillon and Patryk Pawlak

climate change mapAutonomous space capabilities play a key role for in enhancing situational awareness, response to complex crises (natural disasters), management of natural resources (water, forests), delivery of services (health, energy, transport, communication, weather forecasting), and national security. With an increasing number of countries gaining access to outer space, the EU has intensified its efforts towards adopting a space strategy for Europe. Read more…

Galileo Soyuz VS15 countdown

Spacecraft Operations Engineer at ESOCThe launch campaign is complete, the systems and teams at ESOC are ready. At Europe’s Spaceport, in Kourou, French Guyana, the satellite sits on top of its launcher, ready for the command that will send it soaring into space, watched intently by the experts at ESOC.

Ready to go to Space
With just hours to go before lift-off, the Mission Control Team at ESOC holds the final pre-launch briefing to review (one more time!) every detail of the mission plan.

At the briefing, team leaders and functional experts from the Mission Control Team are joined by the satellite’s Project Team from ESTEC as well as representatives from the launch service provider (in addition to the Agency’s own Spaceport at Kourou, ESA launches some satellites using commercial providers) and from the industrial contractor that built the satellite. Read more…